Spooky Bats, Grinning Pumpkins and…Weird Looking Ghosts

October 19, 2012

My husband and I once saw a display of Halloween cookies labelled ‘Spooky Cookies’. Since these were of the variety with the actual cookies dyed luminescent colors, and slathered with (what we could only assume to be) tasteless frosting, we found the moniker tremendously funny. Since then it’s been a running joke, appropriate for the grocery store cookies of many brightly colored holidays (especially St. Patrick’s Day). So when I decided on making some kind of orange and black baked goods for Halloween, then found some cookie cutters with ‘Spooky Cutters’ on the packaging, I knew I was in business.

It being me, I naturally went and attempted to make lower-fat sugar cookies, with fairly decent results. They didn’t taste bad, in fact my husband and I plowed through them fairly quickly, but these aren’t going to compare with your grandmother’s full-fat holiday sugar cookies. But I was so pleased with how they looked, that I felt compelled to post them, low-fat chocolate sugar cookieness and all.

The cookie cutter shapes in the set I bought (which was very hard to find, I’d like to add – there is not a great selection of cookie cutters with good bats), included a bat, a pumpkin, a coffin, a woeful looking two-legged spider, a cat, and a tombstone. A couple of weeks earlier I had investigated how to make black frosting, and found that in order to get a true black frosting, you pretty much have to have accept a slightly bitter taste. But then I did a little searching and found something called ‘black caviar candy‘, which is black candy-coated peppermint balls, the size of caviar. I ordered some, and then found some reasonably priced professional-grade orange icing color ($2.50 at Party America – hey, can’t beat that, and it will last until the end of time since it’s so concentrated). This stuff really allows you to get deep, rich colors. I had planned to do a few colors, but after painstakingly laying out the black candy caviar on each individual cookie, I decided that two different colors was more than enough. I used the old grocery-store liquid food coloring for the gray-purple bats, and was actually thrilled with the color. (I’m nearly certain that I used 3 drops of blue and 2 drops of red, but…I kind of didn’t write it down, and it’s been several days.)

Lower-Fat Chocolate Sugar Cookies for Halloween

Lower-Fat Chocolate Sugar Cookies for Halloween

If you want to give the lower-fat version a try, it’s below. If you want to make a sure crowd-pleaser, you might want to make my mom’s almond sugar cookies (a full-fat version her mom got from a Swedish friend (these cookies are probably my favorite ever – I LOVE almond)).

Lower-Fat/Lower-Calorie Chocolate Sugar Cookies

makes 30-40 cookies

5 T butter, softened
3/4 cups erythritol
3 T applesauce
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1 egg
1+2/3 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
3/4 tsp baking powder (1 tsp at sea-level)
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together. Add applesauce, cocoa powder and espresso powder, and mix well. Taste and adjust as desired, then add egg and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt, and then gradually add flour to the first bowl, mixing well. You should have a firm dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to  375  degrees (350 at sea-level). Roll dough to 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutters dipped in flour.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack after one minute, and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Swedish Almond Sugar Cookies (Full-Fat)

makes 30-40 cookies

10 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1+2/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder (1 tsp at sea-level)
3/4 tsp almond extract

Instructions: Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and almond extract, beating well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder, and then gradually add to butter and sugar, mixing well. You should have a firm dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 at sea level). Roll dough to 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutters dipped in flour.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack after one minute, and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Icing

1+1/2 c powdered sugar
5 T milk
1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
food coloring

Gradually add milk to the powdered sugar until you have a consistency that’s easy to spread, but that’s thick enough that it won’t just run off the cookies. Add flavoring of your choice. Gradually add food coloring until you get the color you would like. I used professional grade icing color for the orange, and 3 drops of blue and 2 drops of red for the gray-purple. Frost and add additional decorations as desired, then let sit until the icing has hardened.

A Colony of Bat Cookies

A Colony of Bat Cookies

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4 Responses to “Spooky Bats, Grinning Pumpkins and…Weird Looking Ghosts”

  1. trangquynh Says:

    such a great idea for Halloween ;)

  2. pattyabr Says:

    I like the blue/grey color of the icing. Very Unique!


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